* MAN to close German bus plant by March 2015
* All 420 workers to be offered new jobs at parent VW
* Turkish labour costs much lower vs Germany -IW
BERLIN, May 20 German truckmaker MAN SE
will shut its sole bus factory in its home market and
shift production to lower-wage Turkey, responding to poor demand
in core European markets.
The 420 workers affected will be offered new jobs at a
German division of MAN parent Volkswagen,
Munich-based MAN said on Tuesday.
Assembly of coaches and public-service buses will be moved
from the plant in Plauen, Germany to Ankara by March 2015, the
"We have been left with no alternative but to move
production to increase efficiency within our production
network," said Anders Nielsen, chief executive of MAN's truck &
Shifting production to Turkey, where MAN employs almost
1,700 workers in Ankara, will allow the manufacturer to
significantly reduce its production costs.
Labour costs in Turkey's manufacturing industry were an
hourly 5.17 euros ($7.1) per worker in 2012, about a seventh of
the 36.98 euros in Germany, according to the Cologne-based IW
Sales of new buses and coaches weighing 3.5 metric tons or
more in the European Union were flat in the first four months at
7,250 vehicles, according to European auto industry association
MAN's Swedish rival Scania, also owned by VW, said
in March it was aiming to cut 250 jobs at bus divisions.
($1 = 0.7289 Euros)
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Erica Billingham)